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The GOP: Where Platforms and Candidates Don’t Mix

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Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

The GOP National Convention begins next week in Tampa, Florida. The convention is meant to be a coronation party for the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney. It is also meant to take advantage of the national spotlight to help make the case to voters across the country. Finally, it is also meant to display party unity as it works to get the crucial swing votes.

Somebody probably should have told the GOP Convention Platform Committee that information.

The committee worked on Tuesday to pass a platform that included a stance on abortion that states it should be illegal, even in cases of rape.

That is not entirely surprising since the Republican Party has historically been conservative on the topic of abortion.

However, the surprising part is that the GOP Convention Platform Committee would not have been more politically aware of the current situation with Rep. Todd Akin and how the stance differs with its own presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.

Essentially, this one move will make most of the headlines that run before the big GOP convention next week about how Romney and his party disagree, instead of focusing on economic issues where Republicans actually may see an advantage.

It’s not as if the GOP could avoid this stance in general, however, to let this issue take the momentum the week before the convention, and only days after Rep. Todd Akin set his campaign afire with his quotes on the issue, is simply sloppy politics.

But beyond being sloppy, the convention committee has shown that its priority is the party’s stance with its conservative wing, and not with its own nominee, or worse yet, potential non-GOP voters.

At this point, Mitt Romney has no choice but to try to adapt to the situation that the committee has given him, while simultaneously distancing himself from Rep. Todd Akin, who is directly connected to this issue.

This also throws the Obama ad campaign, which already poses the Romney/Ryan ticket as the worst thing for women since reinforced toe control top pantyhose, into overdrive.

This situation is also like Christmas morning for the 527’s running ads against the Romney campaign. The ads stemming from this will make look Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan seem as if they are running with Rep. Todd Akin, rather than running from him as Romney has been doing lately.

Conventions should be built to give candidates a bounce and a surge, not provide an obstacle or even worse, hand opponents a direct advantage.

At this point, Mitt Romney will be lucky to simply survive his convention and get out with his campaign intact.

With over two months to Election Day, the abortion issue will likely ebb a bit. However, thanks to the sloppy thinking of the GOP Convention Platform Committee, it will not ebb in time for Romney to actually enjoy his coronation in Tampa.
About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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